The Birth and Soul of an Octopus as Told in a New Book and Captured on Film

by Carolyn Sotka

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The Soul of an Octopus is from the the author of the bestselling memoir The Good Good Pig, by Sy Montgomery.

In The Soul of an Octopus Sy Montgomery explores the emotional and physical world of the octopus—a surprisingly complex, intelligent, and spirited creature—and the remarkable connections it makes with humans.

Montgomery’s popular 2011 Orion magazine piece, “Deep Intellect,” about her friendship with a sensitive, sweet-natured octopus named Athena and the grief she felt at her death, went viral, indicating the widespread fascination with these mysterious, almost alien-like creatures.

Since then Sy has practiced true immersive journalism, from New England aquarium tanks to the reefs of French Polynesia and the Gulf of Mexico, pursuing these wild, solitary shape-shifters. Octopuses have varied personalities and intelligence they show in myriad ways: endless trickery to escape enclosures and get food; jetting water playfully to bounce objects like balls; and evading caretakers by using a scoop net as a trampoline and running around the floor on eight arms. Published in May of 2015, The Soul of an Octopus reveals what octopuses can teach us about consciousness and the meeting of two very different minds.

Check out the remarkable up close video (below) which documents the birth of octopuses, from their carefully guarded egg sacks.

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For all the octopus lovers out there, here are a few past Scuttlefish stories on these remarkable creatures. -CS

Gotcha! Octopus Snaps Picture of Photographer From Inside its Tank

Battle between a Harbor Seal and a Giant Pacific Octopus: Who is the Victor?

Portuguese Man o’ War: An Octopus’s Ultimate Weapon?

A Subsea Arms Race? Amidst Turf Disputes, Australian Octopuses Deploy Shells, Rocks and Seaweed

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